Sun Safety

Characteristics of persons with increased risk of skin cancer:

  • Spends many hours outdoors;
  • Has fair skin and light-colored hair. Redheads and blondes are also more at risk than those with dark hair;
  • Doesn’t tan easily, but freckles or burns first; and
  • Has many moles.

Here are some ways to protect against the harmful effects of the sun:

  • Wear clothing that doesn’t let much visible light through to your skin;
  • Wear sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, which blocks 93 percent of burning UV rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent;
  • Wear a wide-brim hat;
  • Wear sunglasses rated for blocking 99 or 100 percent of UV;
  • Limit exposure to the sun from the hours of 10:00am to 2:00pm.

Early warning signs:

  • A spot on your skin that changes in size, color or shape over a period of one month to one or two years;
  • A red scaly patch that is visibly outlined;
  • A wax-like pale pearly knob;
  • A sore that doesn’t heal; and
  • The most serious, melanoma, often begins as a small growth that looks like a mole. If you find an unusual skin change, see a medical professional.

Examine your body regularly because if you detect it early, skin cancer can almost always be cured.

Heat Index Protective Measures

The heat index is a simple tool and guide for farmers making decisions about protecting workers in hot weather.  It doesn’t take into consideration conditions that may cause additional risk, such as physical exertion, working in the direct sun which can add up to 8 degrees Celsius to the heat index value, and wearing heavy clothing or protective gear.  Fluid intake should not exceed 6 cups per hour or 12 quarts per day.  This makes it particularly important to reduce work rates, reschedule work, or enforce work/rest schedules.

Heat Index / Risk Level Protective Measures
< 33°C      – Lower
  • Provide drinking water
  • Ensure that adequate medical services are available.
  • Plan ahead for times when heat index is higher, including worker heat safety training.
  • Encourage workers to wear sunscreen.
  • Acclimatize workers.
  • Take additional measure if workers are required to wear heavy protective clothing go perform strenuous activity.


Heat Index / Risk Level Protective Measures
33°C to 39°C   – Moderate
  • In addition to the steps listed above:
    • Remind workers to drink water often (about 4 cups/hour).
    • Review heat-related illness topics with workers: how to recognize heat-related illness, how to prevent it, and what to do if someone gets sick.
    • Schedule frequent breaks in a cool, shaded area.
    • Acclimatize workers.
    • Set up buddy system/instruct supervisors to watch workers for signs of heat-related illness.
    • Monitor workers closely.


Heat Index / Risk Level Protective Measures
39°C to 45°C   –  High 
  • In addition to the steps listed above:
    • Alert workers of high-risk conditions
    • Actively encourage workers to drink plenty of water (about 4 cups/hour).
    • Limit physical exertion (e.g. use mechanical lifts).
    • Have a knowledgeable person at the worksite who is well-informed about heat-related illness and able to determine appropriate work/rest schedules.
    • Establish and enforce work/rest schedules.
    • Adjust work activities (e.g., reschedule work, pace/rotate jobs).
    • Use cooling techniques.
    • Watch/communicate with workers at all times.


Heat Index / Risk Level Protective Measures
> 46°C      – Very high to extreme
    • Alert workers of extreme heat hazards.
    • Establish water drinking schedule (about 4 cups/hour).
    • Develop and enforce protective work/rest schedules.
    • Conduct physiological monitoring (e.g., pulse, temperature, etc.).
    • Stop work if essential control methods are inadequate or unavailable.If essential work must be done, in addition to the steps listed above:


Do you have a plan?  Are you sustainable?

We are a part of an ever-changing world.  You see where you are today from where you began.  How much is the same?

Did you plan for the change or did you go along with the change?  If you plan for change, there is a better chance of coming out on top or becoming a leading member of your industry.  A big part in planning for change whether it be business related or health and safety related is risk management.

Do you have and use a risk assessment tool?  Do you know the likelihood and consequence of various business and health and safety activities?

Create a risk matrix of likelihood and consequence to determine low, medium, and high risk activities.  Once you determine risk, this can set your priorities for taking action to become sustainable.  The more you involve your employees especially during the risk assessment phase and collaborate with them in how to mitigate the risk, the employees will take ownership in their roles and want their part to be a success.   If your employees are successful, your plan will be successful which in turn will generate a sustainable business.

Here are two resources that will help your business become sustainable: 1. Farm Safety Plan and 2. Using the Farm Sustainability Assessment.

Farm Safety Nova Scotia Welcomes New Farm Safety Advisor

Back in April, Farm Safety put out a call for applications for a new position with the organization – a Farm Safety Advisor, who will support farms through training, education and advisory services.

We are excited to introduce to you the newest member of our team – Lori Brookhouse!

Lori comes to Farm Safety with an array of education in her back pocket. Graduating from Nova Scotia Agricultural College with a Biology Technology Diploma, she also has certificates and diplomas in; Bookkeeping, Supervisory Development and Human Resources management. Lori holds a number of professional designations including CRSP and NCSO.

A curious person who always wants and needs to know more, Lori always had a knack for foreseeing what could possibly happen and wanting to take precautions to prevent any incident or injury.

“When working at the lab at the university I took it upon myself to ensure safety measures, mostly including emergency preparedness at the time, was in place,” she added. “I was approached by a landscaping company in 2007 to help them with their safety program. One referral led to another and here I am today.”

In her spare time, you will likely find Lori camping, wheelin’, riding her Harley, acrylic painting or reading.

Passionate about safety, education and helping others, Lori is looking forward to her new role as Farm Safety Advisor.

“There is so much to look forward to, using my agricultural background; using my knowledge of legislation and safety program development, training development and deliver skills, as well as my 12 years of experience in safety and human resources. I’m excited to work with peers and employers in the agricultural industry to help them get the tools they need to provide a safe workplace for their workers so everyone can go home in the same condition at the end of the day.”

We can’t wait to see the positive impact she will have on farm safety in Nova Scotia.

Welcome Lori!

July Balance Newsletter

Check out the latest Balance newsletter from Morneau Shepell! It features advice on how to be more engaged at work and tips for fitting work and life together!

One Road. One Goal.

Whether you’re a farmer on the road, or a motorist, we all have the same goal – returning home safely at the end of the day. This isn’t one person’s responsibility, or one groups, this is a team effort.

Safety is a two-way street.

As farmers, we aren’t exactly shocked to hear that we are often the cause of commuter frustration when we need to take our farm equipment onto Nova Scotia’s roads and highways. What is shocking however, is the number of motorists who would rather risk their own lives, and potentially ours, rather than just slowing down – often passing when its unsafe, the lane is unclear and the distance is underestimated.

According to the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association’s (CASA) Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting (CAIR), from 2003-2012 there were 843 agriculture related fatalities in Canada. Of these, 59 (7%) were traffic collisions. In fact, motor vehicle collision fatality rates have been increasing an average of 2.8% each year.

This is a key issue that Farm Safety Nova Scotia is prioritizing in their road safety campaign entitled, “One Road”.  One Road is an educational campaign, aiming to keep farmers, workers and commuters safe when farm vehicles are on roadways with motorists travelling at high speeds, while also ensuring that farmers/workers are following safe practices when using our provincial roads and highways.

As farmers, we are out on the roads doing our job – producing safe and quality food for everyone’s table. This campaign works to remind motorists that everyone has a right to be on the road – whether you’re going to the field, or to the beach – and to respect those traveling on the road, to ensure we all arrive at our destination safely.

Producers have been traveling on the roads with tractors for years, the increase in traffic on our public roads is undeniable, however – the heavy traffic also increases our risks when traveling these roads with farm equipment.

Before heading back onto the roads for another busy cropping season, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Make sure your tractor is equipped with proper safety guards and devices. Check equipment (e.g. hydraulics, tires, and lights) before leaving.
  • Tractors manufactured after 1974 must be equipped with a roll-over protective structure (ROPS) and a seatbelt, which must be worn at all times.
  • Lock tractor brakes together when traveling on the road.
  • Always travel on the road, never the shoulder. When safe, pull off the road completely to allow vehicles to pass.
  • When towing implements, be sure to use proper hitching techniques with safety chains. All implements should be locked in the “travel” position when on public roads.
  • All loads must be secured.
  • Ensure your registered farm vehicles have both government issued plates mounted, one on the front and one on the back.

In Nova Scotia, our government is currently working on the new Traffic Safety Act (TSA), which provides the framework for safe travel on Nova Scotia roads – not only for the motoring public but also for those traveling as part of their business. In 2018, NSFA submitted a Stakeholder Response with a number of recommendations for consideration in the TSA that address our innovative industry, including:

  • Adding self-propelled implement of husbandry and expanded definition of farm tractor.
  • An amendment be made to the terminology to provide clear interpretation of Slow-Moving Vehicle regulations.
  • A regulation that encompasses all agricultural related traffic regulations and exemptions be developed.

NSFA continues to push for policy change with roles around FM plates, hauling farm equipment, licensing and definitions.

Remember to be visible, be aware, be courteous, and most importantly – be safe.



David Newcombe returned to the family farm after graduating from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Finance in May 2014. He is now home on the farm with his father Craig and uncle Brian where they have a dairy, broiler and layer operation with a feed mill on farm. David is proudly the 10th generation Newcombe to be farming at Cornwallis Farms Ltd. in Port Williams. David is the Vice-President of Farm Safety Nova Scotia and sits on Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture’s Transportation Committee.

We’re Hiring!

Farm Safety Nova Scotia is now accepting applications for a Farm Safety Advisor – the Advisor is responsible for providing training, advisory and consultative services to the registered farms while engaging with key industry stakeholders. Application deadline is Tuesday, April 30th.

To view the job posting, click here.

April Balance Newsletter

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March Monthly Insight

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